Poignant and gripping novel.
Blurb: “Between the fast-paced New York City, a rural Mississippi town and a charming Pennsylvania college campus filled with secrets, two young girls learn the consequences of growing up too quickly.
Amalia Graeme, abused by her mother for most of her life, longs to escape her desolate hometown and fall in love. Contemplating her loss of innocence and conflicting feelings between her boyfriend and the dangerous attraction she’s developed for an older man, Amalia faces life-altering tragedies.
Brianna Porter, a sassy, angst-ridden teenager raised in New York City, yearns to find her life’s true purpose, conquer her fear of abandonment, and interpret an intimidating desire for her best friend, Shanelle. Desperate to find the father whom her mother refuses to reveal, Brianna accidentally finds out a shocking truth about her missing parent.
Set in alternating chapters two decades apart, the parallels between their lives and the unavoidable collision that is bound to happen is revealed. FATHER FIGURE is an emotional story filled with mystery, romance, and suspense.”
This was a truly engaging read. Structured in alternative chapters, it presented the story of two young women living twenty years apart, one desperately trying to run away and forget her past, the other one eager to find answers about her past and her true sexuality.
Twenty years ago, Amalia suffered from the actions and words of an abusive mother. Her father tried to soften the pain, showing more understanding, but unfortunately not brave enough to stand up to his wife. He was the only person that comforted her in her young age. Still, she had to leave Brant and start a new life. Life plays with us often and it played big with Amelia too while she was in college. Instead of starting a new beautiful life, being happily in-love, she experienced a series of events that made her run away. What was supposed to be her way out proved to be another painful period. What did she do? She ran away and decided to keep the past buried. Was this the best decision? Did she manage to finally be happy and live a careless life? Was love again in the cards for her? The future will show.
Now, twenty years later, Brianna was about to start college and turning 18 made her wish to find out who her father is stronger. She was at a point in life where she wanted to find answers about herself too, including her true sexuality. She felt the need to find out more about her family. Do we really need to know where we come from to know who we are?
Humorous at times, this beautifully written and perfectly paced story deals with many themes (aggressive behaviors, physical and emotional abuse, family issues, sexuality, etc) that are far from being happy, but are definitely a part of the real life.
The characters are strong, well-described, and unique. The twists and turns, with a dash of mystery, are often unexpected. A real page-turner and another proof that the author is one of my favorites.
“She can never know the truth. I'm not even sure I know the whole truth. I promise you with all my heart that I'll keep the past buried in the past for her sake and for yours. If she ever needs to know who her father is, I'll tell her you disappeared—that I never had a chance to find you, but you were a good man. A good man I will love until the day I die.”
“Life just happens sometimes. You can't predict it. You don't know where it will drop you off unexpectedly. You only get to pick up the pieces when it's all said and done.”
My rating: 5/5.
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Cozy mystery with unique and charming characters.
Blurb: “When an extra ticket becomes available to attend the dress rehearsal of Braxton's King Lear production, Kellan tags along with Nana D and her buddies, sisters-in-law Eustacia and Gwendolyn Paddington, to show support for the rest of the Paddington family. When one of them appears to have a heart attack in the middle of the second act, Nana D raises her suspicions and asks Kellan to investigate who killed her friend. Amidst family members suddenly in debt and a secret rendezvous between an unlikely pair, Kellan learns the Paddingtons might not be as clean-cut as everyone thinks. But did one of them commit murder for an inheritance?
Kellan's back in his second adventure since returning home to Pennsylvania. With his personal life in upheaval and his new boss, Myriam, making life difficult, will he be able to find a killer or will he get caught up in his own version of stage fright?”
“Broken Heart Attack” is the second book in the “Braxton Campus Mysteries” series, which at this moment contain four books, but can be all read as standalone.
The course of events got me interested from the very beginning. Kellan, the main character, is easily lifelike. He seems to be a really cool guy, friendly, polite, thoughtful, smart and funny. I loved the type of relationship Kellan has with his grandmother. Nana D is quite the character, definitely not like the majority of people her age. She is in her seventies and planning to run for mayor. When her friend Gwendolyn dies during the King Lear play, and the suspicious cause of death is born, Nana D. is the one insisting Kellan to help find the murderer. “The things I did for my family were getting way too weird.”- says Kellan.
With intertwining stories and events, the mystery is evolving. The road is not easy. Kellan has to deal with the Paddington clan. Sheriff April doesn't seem to be on his side but this will not stop him on his mission. Luckily, he is good at being nosy and sometimes a good eavesdropper. Sometimes it seems he can’t catch a break. He has to deal with drama around the family of his no longer present wife. I would love to say more but I am afraid it may be a spoiler. However, Kellan’s daughter is sweet and smart. Luckily, Kellan has his parents, grandmother and sister around that help him baby sit while he’s busy with lots of stuff. He is not only working on the case finding out who the murderer is, but he is dealing with his private drama, helping for Nana’s mayoral campaign, he is being a great supporter for his sister, and he is trying to have some social life between his daily job and all the other interests and obligations.
This mystery had me on my toes, kept me swaying between the suspects almost till the very end. Through details, settings, and the most lovable characters the reader will fall instantly in love with reading this mystery. I will be looking for the other books in the series to see what is Kellan up to again.
My rating: 5/5.
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It's summer and over here is really hot. No matter of the weather I read regularly, this is something I love. I usually read romance during summertime, but it's time for a change.
"How about some cozy mystery?" I've asked myself. Well, I think it is a great choice! I perused Amazon and Goodreads for a few hours and I picked "Broken Heart Attack" (Braxton Campus Mysteries #2) by James J. Cudney. The author is new to me, but the plot and the reviews made it easy for me to decide. On top of that, the book is on SALE for only 0.99 through 2/7, so my budget is happy too. :) Who wants to join me?
When an extra ticket becomes available to attend the dress rehearsal of Braxton’s King Lear production, Kellan tags along with Nana D and her buddies, sisters-in-law Eustacia and Gwendolyn Paddington, to show support for the rest of the Paddington family. When one of them appears to have a heart attack in the middle of the second act, Nana D raises her suspicions and asks Kellan to investigate who killed her friend. Amidst family members suddenly in debt and a secret rendezvous between an unlikely pair, Kellan learns the Paddingtons might not be as clean-cut as everyone thinks. But did one of them commit murder for an inheritance? Kellan is back in his second adventure since returning home to Pennsylvania. With his personal life in upheaval and his new boss, Myriam, making life difficult, will he be able to find a killer or will he get caught up in his own version of stage fright?
As the summer is long, when I'm done with "Broken heart attack", I have a feeling that I'll pick all the other books in the series, including the latest release:
Mistaken Identity Crisis: Death in the Cable Car, launched yesterday, June 30th.
Stay tune for my review and do let me know if you've read any of the books from this series. I would love to hear your opinion.
....and stay indoor....this is what I am trying to do, at least when the sun is at its best. :)
Message to you:
In order to be a good writer, one has to read a lot. And I do and I love it....and I chose to share my readings with you. Feel free to share with me any of the books you have read or wrote, if I find them interesting I will add them to my list. I'll post my reviews on Goodreads, Amazon and all my social accounts.